Hozier has spoken of his disappointment following controversial comments by dancer Sergei Polunin, who performed in his video for ‘Movement’.
Hozier invited the Ukranian-born ballet star to perform in the video for the song, which released in November, after Polunin had danced in another video, directed by David LeChapelle, to Hozier’s first hit Take Me to Church.
Following the release of ‘Movement’ Polunin shocked fans when he revealed a tattoo of Russian president Vladimir Putin on his chest. In January he made homophobic and sexist comments in a post on Instagram.
Speaking to the Independent in the UK, Hozier said it was “troubling” and added, “I don’t have a personal relationship with the man, but a lot of what he’s been saying is pretty out there. I remember standing with him on the shoot for a day and he didn’t have the tattoo then, so it all seemed to come out of left-field.”
Hozier has been very vocal in criticising the Catholic Church and its approach to LGBT and gender issues. The video for Take Me to Church depicts a young gay man in Russia being violently attacked for his sexuality.
Hozier expressed his sadness about Polunin’s actions.
“When you bring somebody into your art, there’s a sense of trust and belief that they understand where you’re coming from,” he told the Independent.
“So to see all of that was really deflating. For somebody with such artistic potential – I was struck by the vision he has and his dedication to his work – for him to be hijacked by this strange cultural war, it’s really saddening.
“I offered a nod to his work with my work, as something that I felt was coming full circle. When you do that, you’re bringing somebody in, in a very personal way. So it’s very f**king depressing.”
Hozier’s new album, Wasteland Baby! releases on Friday March 1. The 14 track album comes five years after his critically acclaimed self-titled debut, which has sold four million copies worldwide.
The album also comes in the wake of his hugely successful Nina Cried Power EP, which features multi-Grammy award winning artist Mavis Staples and instrumentation by Booker T Jones.
The EP’s title track also opens Wasteland Baby! while the single Movement also features in the tracklist.
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